Outlook Express Folders

Posted on 2006-06-18
Last Modified: 2010-04-08
I'm having my Outlook Express folders disappear. I went to one folder today, and it was empty. Luckily, I keep backups, and I was able to copy the relevant DBX folder and get the messages back. I have two questions:

1. What is apt to make the messages disappear?

2. Why do I have multiple copies of the Outlook Express folders?

One is in

Documents and Settings/Myname/Local Settings/Appplication Data/Identities/Long number/Microsoft/Outlook Express

This seems to be the working copy.

The other is in . . . Application Data/Microsoft/Outlook Express

This seems to be an older version, with the last date when I installed Windows XP, which is my OS.

Does OE store the version from a previous OS in this folder?

Question by:Nechterg
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 16929780
Hello Nechterg,

this is only partly an answer to your question

>>The other is in . . . Application Data/Microsoft/Outlook Express

this is the default one OE gets when you install the OS as you already assumed, the other one under identities is the one that is working with your user login name and is bound to your user account

for the problem that caused you to read in a backup, this could be anything maybe some change in the user account or installing some other software

did you get an error message when you opened outlook without the emails?

hope this helps a bit
LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 16929876
Greetings, Nechterg !

1. Outlook Express could be confused by the stored folders. as to which is the proper stored folder.  So look emails could be one folder or the other. Make sure you have only one stored OE data folder.

2. You could have imported the DBX files from ...Appplication Data/Identities/Long number/Microsoft/Outlook Express folder and Windows XP installed the  ...Application Data/Microsoft/Outlook Express

Backup everything.  In OE, go to Tools > Options > Maintenance > Stored Folder. Look at the path to determine which is the proper folder. Move the files all into the proper folder.

Best wishes!

Author Comment

ID: 16929895
Is it safe to delete all the duplicate folders?
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LVL 44

Accepted Solution

bruintje earned 250 total points
ID: 16929904
if you follow the lines of war1 point 2 then yes

after putting all info into the correct folders [using the dbx in the correct path]
you can delete the duplicate folders

Author Comment

ID: 16933334
I don't understand how OE can be confused by the stored folders as they have different paths unless it just looks for an OE folder, which doesn't strike me as very smart.

Do you know a Web site that explains how OE works?

I'm afraid I'm so out of it I don't understand what "war1 point2" means. I was thinking of copying the duplicate folders to a CD/DVD before deleting them. Just in case
LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 16935195

You asked why there were two data stored files.  I said Windows XP creates one.  And if you import your emails from another folder, you will have another data path.

The point is the Outlook has a default data path, and you should combined all data files into the one folder.  To determine which is the default data path, go to Tools > Options > Maintenance > Stored Folder and determine the path. Copy all data files to that folder.

Backup your data before moving, in case you delete something that you are not suppose to. Then delete the duplicate folders.

Author Comment

ID: 16937006
OK. I didn't look at the names, and now I realize what war 1 point 2 meant <G>. I thought it was a reference to some popular computer game.

I know which is the default data path. What I don't understand is what made the data file in one folder in the default data path disappear.
LVL 97

Assisted Solution

war1 earned 250 total points
ID: 16937078
If the data file of the missing was originally in the default data path, then a corruption of the DBX can cause the email of the folder not to show.  Compacting the folder can cause DBX file to corrupt.  A very large DBX file can be easily corrupted.

Author Comment

ID: 16941424
The odd thing was that it wasn't just that the messages didn't show, but when I went to the OE folder with Explorer, that file had only 72 kb. When I looked at my backup HD, to which I'd copied everything on 5/27, that folder's DBX file was missing.

IOW, something had deleted that folder, which somehow OE recreated with no messages in it. I don't know if corruption can delete a whole file.

I suspect compacting *does* have something to do with this, and I now have OE set not to compact in the background. When I do compact, I don't do anything else on the computer. I have sent for some software that is supposed to help with extracting data. I don't have it yet.

And I'd really like to understand how all this works if anyone knows of a book or Web site that describes how OE works.

LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 16961592

Author Comment

ID: 16965623
Thank you. I've also discovered this site

I'm not so much interested in how to click on things in the program as how the stuff is handled by the program. This site answered a lot of my questions.

I thank you both, and I'm going to split the points.

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